Asian retail concept – just give me what everybody’s buying

July 19, 2006 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

Ranking RanqueenWhen I think of retail success, I think of choice and miles of Wal-Mart aisles. But this update about Japan’s ranKing ranQueen store concept has got me thinking: maybe Asia’s busy, urban shoppers need bestseller lists, not choice.

According to trendspotter Ray Collouch:

…every product in the store is part of a top 3, 5 or 10 list. Whether it’s the top 3 bath powders, the top 5 nose hair removers, or the top 10 pasta sauces. Popularity and ranking are based on sales data from parent company Tokyu’s department stores, and numbers from independent research companies…

…The stores are tiny, and located in high traffic areas like train and subway stations. Although Ranking Ranqueen hasn’t released sales figures, Tokyu recently announced that monthly revenue per store is up 10 to 20 percent over the past year, and there are plans to double the number of stores to 15 by 2008.

I can’t help thinking the ranKing ranQueen concept (but perhaps not the name!) would be a hit throughout the cities and the Great Malls of Asia for several reasons:

  1. Everybody loves a list. It builds an extra narrative into the experience of buying. Why did you, or didn’t you, choose #1?
  2. Asia is big on fads. Think Hello Kitty.
  3. Asian shoppers are reassured by peer edorsement. It shows up on every survey, and in the improbable sales volume of classic luxury goods
  4. Retail space is expensive and rising.

Entry filed under: all asia, japan, media general.

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